Imagery brings vitality to concepts, perspective, and narrative. It embodies the described reality presented in verbalized or written form. Images bring words and ideas to life. The age-old narrative of the Judeo-Christian Bible is one shared with not only the self-identified inspirational source, but the part-playing “extras”. The two constitute a dichotomy of purpose for the book. On the one hand, there is the Lord God, conceivably the premier and primary character present almost* through the entirety of the story. On the other hand, there is the people, who carry out the localized roles within the individual stories. There is, then, two conflicting perspectives clashing throughout the Bible’s pages. From God’s perspective, the creation of mankind was an expression of deeply extravagant love and opportunity for it’s exponential expanse. From the people’s perspective, the down-to-earth, finite confrontation with nature and sin-influenced circumstances brings out the cruel eschewing of the Creator’s intended reality. The Bible turns out to describe a struggle, a conflict between good and evil – battles dealt with spears, slings, and swords. The principles derived tend to resonate back to a peculiar attribute of God’s character – righteousness. God’s character, In total, which ultimately culminates in love, often gets pigeon-holed into the authority and a victor mentality. While this could be initially be approached as a blazing image of the lofty state of the Kingship of God; it none-the-less resonates from a warfare mentality. The character of God expressed from God’s own voice often stands out when compared with the voice of the ‘extras’ of the grand story (whose only real character continuity is God Himself and the Israelite people group). The struggle is often seen in the good and the evil, while paradoxically, this was never in the original plan and intent of God. The Bible, understandably, becomes the story of humanity as much as it is the picture of God.
The story of human history, even the Christian religion, often strays far from that rich, and beautifully divine ideal. The character of God that is expressed from His own voice in Scripture is one enraptured in an extended, open hand indicating not only grace, but a new life and adventure. Conversely, Christian history has dark corners and sketchy decisions. The Bible has immeasurably been used in the proliferation of the church’s scandals, both directly, and indirectly, as mostly iconically seen in the era of the Crusades. While the church reflects God’s presence on earth, it can never and will never replace God’s moving Spirit in the lives of His children, and gentle influence in His overall creation. The picture of the sword may indeed be the picture of the Bible, and even Christianity (first century Rome), but the picture and image of God should always rise above and beyond the marred image of war and conflict (however justified it may be in our sin-affected world). It is our responsibility as His precious children to be vessels of hope, life, and prosperity. The victor image tends to preserve the marred image of a church rather then the desperately pursuing, covenant-keeping Father God that continues to plunge Himself into our world and our lives.
*The book of Esther does not mention God
The inspirational Scripture references for this post is 2nd Cor. 3:6, and Matt. 26:52